With all the work that we did in San Francisco to get Sea Eagle ready for the trip up the coast, we had never actually spent the night on the hook. A 50th birthday party for Mike and Gail at McMicken island was time to rectify that. McMicken Island is located just east of Harstine Island in Case Inlet (South Puget Sound) and is a State Park that can only be visited by boat.
We left Tacoma late in the morning and hit the turn of tide just as we rounded Pt. Defiance and began riding the Flood Tide south through the Narrows. There were hundreds of fishing boats trying their luck just north of the point, which made navigation entertaining and I try very hard to keep the speed and wake down (so no one gets swamped), but some boats are smarter about it than others….
South of the Narrows, we cruised by Fox Island and then McNeil, which was a Washington Sate Penitentiary which has now been abandoned (2011). The island is beautiful and is going to be a stunning location for something spectacular once they figure out what to do with it.
Balch passage, between McNeil Island and Eagle Island was running fast, so we were making well over 10 knots as we flew through, which now seems very fast compared with our normal 7. Rounding Devil’s Head, we looked up Case Inlet and could see the large rafts of boats tucked in behind McMicken Island as we motored the length of Harstine Island. The 30+ mile trip took just under 4 hours, with an average speed of well over 7 knots due to the favorable currents.
We picked a spot close to the raft up of the birthday party boats and dropped the hook. How sweet it is!
We had a bunch of visitors, dropping by in their dingy’s to see the new boat. I did a lot of tours and always love taking new visitors into the N47’s engine room. My good friend Teri Sanders was really funny as she stepped into the full-height engine room, covered her mouth in surprise and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh Scott, you have naked women on the walls of the engine room!” Yep, signed Vargas prints that came with the boat. It makes me laugh every time.
Once the tours were done, it was time to launch the dingy, which I had not really done before. Nordhavn owners will be laughing at the 15 minutes I spent looking for the switch to turn on the hydraulic pump. I couldn’t find one, so finally plugged the remote into the pedestal of the crane, pulled the trigger and up came the boom. DOH! Launching the boat for the first time went smoothly and eventually I even managed to get the 40 HP outboard running (which had been sitting unused for 6 years).
We putzed over to the party and joined the birthday bash. For the rest of the details, you’ll just have to trust me that everyone had a very good time. Apparently, what happens at McMicken Island, stays at McMicken Island! You know how it goes!
We slept well on the Sea Eagle for our first night on the hook and motored back to Tacoma early the next day to catch the favorable tides through the Tacoma Narrows.